When it’s cool outside, a good dutch oven chili recipe slow cooking in a cast iron dutch oven near the campfire is the perfect way to spend the evening at your campsite.
Whether you’ve got some ground venison from your last hunt or just bought some ground beef from the grocery store (remember, coarse ground makes all the difference), this recipe does the trick to keep everybody warm.
If you want to make your chili hotter or milder, just adjust the amount of jalapeno or cayenne pepper you’re using. Leaving the seeds in the jalapenos will amp up the heat too.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours
- Serves: 8
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 large red onion, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 2 jalapenos, chopped (add more or less, depending on how hot you like it)
- ¼ cup chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 pounds coarse ground beef
- 2 (15-ounce) cans dark red kidney beans
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 can of beer (or water)
Extra Equipment Needed at the Campsite:
- 12″ Cast Iron Dutch Oven (Deep) (plus any additional accessories you like to use)
- Charcoal (unless you’re using wood)
- Small shovel or long bbq tongs (for moving hot coals around)
- Wooden spoon for stirring (Nylon works too. Just don’t use metal, it’ll scratch the seasoning on your dutch oven)
- Ladle for serving
- Can Opener
- Bowls and spoons
Before You Leave Home
Chop your red onion, red bell pepper, and jalapenos and toss into a resealable bag. Remember to chop up the bell pepper and onion as fine as you can. The goal is for them to be pretty much dissolved by the time you’re done cooking.
Finely mince the garlic and put into a separate bag.
All of your vegetables can be frozen prior to heading out on your trip. Just be sure you give them enough time at the campsite to thaw out.
Toss all of your spices into a single resealable bag.
Making Your Dutch Oven Chili
Set up your dutch oven for frying with 18 briquettes underneath.
Once your dutch oven is good and hot, pour in your cooking oil. You’ll know its ready when it shimmers.
Add your onion, bell pepper, jalapenos, chili powder, cumin, cayenne and salt. Fry until the bell peppers and jalapenos are soft and the onions are starting to become translucent.
Toss in the beef and garlic and cook until the beef is browned. Be certain to break the beef up well with your wooden spoon.
Throw in the kidney beans, diced tomatoes (along with the juice), tomato paste and beer (or water).
Cover up your chili and let it simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once you’ve let it cook for 45 minutes, take the lid off and let it simmer for about an hour. This will let some of the liquid evaporate and cause the chili to thicken up.
Add a little salt and pepper to taste.
I like to serve mine up with shredded sharp cheddar cheese and regular Fritos (crusty bread, cornbread or crackers are just fine instead of Fritos). Diced onions or chives also make a good addition.
That’s it. It’s not fancy, but I guarantee it’ll be a hit.
Explore more dutch oven camping recipes.
Cast Iron Dutch Oven Chili
- 2 tbs vegetable oil
- 1 large red onion – – finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper – – finely chopped
- 2 jalapenos – – finely chopped
- 1/4 cup chili powder
- 1 tbs ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 garlic cloves – – minced
- 2 lbs coarse ground beef
- 2 15 oz cans dark red kidney beans
- 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 6 oz can tomato paste
- 1 can beer (or water)
Extra Equipment Needed at the Campsite
- 12″ deep cast iron dutch oven
- Small shovel or long bbq tongs
- Wooden spoon
- Can opener
- Bowls and spoons
Before You Leave Home
- Chop red onion, bell pepper and jalapeno. Put into resealable plastic bag.
- Chop garlic. Put into separate plastic bag.
- Put all spices into a separate plastic bag.
Cooking at the campsite
- Set up dutch oven for frying (18 briquettes)
- Add oil after dutch oven is hot.
- Add onion, bell pepper, jalapenos, chili powder, cumin, cayenne and salt. Fry until the bell peppers and jalapenos are soft and onions are starting to become translucent.
- Add ground beef and garlic and cook until the beef is browned, breaking the beef up with spoon.
- Add kidney beans, diced tomatoes (and juice), tomato paste and beer (or water).
- Cover and simmer for 45 minutes (maintaining 10-12 briquettes underneath)
- Uncover and simmer for about 1 hour.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
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